Africa

Public Media Worldwide


Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC)

Radio | Television | Online

23

broadcasts
in 23 Ghanaian
languages

50%

audience share
of GTV &
GTV Sports+

30th

RSF World
Press Freedom
ranking

In detail

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Ownership: Government of Ghana

Ghana has one of the freest media landscapes in Africa – and worldwide. It has maintained 30th place in RSF’s 2021 World Press Freedom Index. The public broadcaster is also protected from political or editorial interference under the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation Act 1968 and the 1992 Constitution as well as other legal provisions. The National Media Commission (NMC) is the regulator in Ghana that oversees media organisations in the country.

GBC is funded by a TV licence fee, which costs GHC36 (GBP6) annually and is supplemented by commercial revenue.

Ghana’s Information Minister, Mr. Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, is urging the GBC to clarify its identity and outline future plans for its growth. Oppong-Nkrumah has also suggested that the National Media Commission needs to set up a committee to assess GBC’s performance in recent years and address current challenges. Meanwhile, rumours about privatising GBC have been de-bunked, and GBC’s Director-General, Professor Amin Alhassan has stated that the public broadcaster requires  ‘… a deliberate government intervention in key areas like procuring of equipment, payment of electricity, as well as funding for their long-service award programme to be more productive.’

Other reports revealed that the GBC needs around GHC600 million for the live coverage of the 2020 Ghanaian Election Petition. In other news, GBC has been increasing its collaborations with different sectors. In early 2021, GBC announced a collaboration with the University of Environment and Sustainable Development to promote science programmes and support education in Ghana.


Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC)

Radio | Television | Online

78%

reach across
the country
via radio

10

different languages
for radio
broadcasts

24th

Namibia has
the highest press
freedom 
ranking in
Africa (RSF)

In detail

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Ownership: Government of Namibia

NBC is regulated and independently governed by the Namibian Broadcasting Act No. 9 of 1991. The public broadcaster is supervised and controlled by the NBC Board of Directors. The Minister of Information and Communication Technology appoints the Board members for a five-year period.

“The NBC Board, in turn, appoints a Director General. This Director General, the chief executive officer, is a member of the Board; he is, however, not entitled to exercise a vote at board meetings.”

[Text sourced from NBC]

NBC is primarily funded by an annual state subsidy. This is supplemented by an annual television licence fee, which costs N$ 204 (£12), although there are concessions for pensioners, disabled persons and households with multiple TV sets. Other sources of income derive from commercial activities including airtime and programme sales and renting out transmitters.

Broadcasting to around 1.6 million people daily on all its platforms, NBC reaches nearly 80% of the population. It also has a strong presence on all social media.

In recent years, NBC has dealt with a worsening financial crisis. In 2019, this resulted in the public broadcaster announcing cost-cutting measures, including reducing or suspending airtime across its radio and television channels. Some of these measures have since been lifted. Yet from 22 April 2021, the majority of NBC workers went on industrial action for a month on grounds of unfair working conditions after a series of negotiations between NBC management and the Namibian Public Workers Union (NAPWU) broke down. The leadership of both parties have since come to an agreement, which includes NBC management looking into reviewing contracts – one of the workers’ grievances was better job security. However, other demands, such as a salary increase and more employee benefits, have not been reviewed.

Even though NBC has risen to the challenge of covering COVID-19 by making information available in local languages and providing special COVID-19 programmes, the pandemic has further added to its funding woes due to declining advertising revenue and internet connectivity issues. According to Director-General, Stanley Similo, one of the NBC Board’s key priorities is for NBC to be a more “tech-savvy” public media organisation.


Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC)

Radio | Television | Online

94%

watch SBC News
consistently, often
or sometimes

60%

audience are
satisfied with
SBC

+11

Seychelles is now
52nd in RSF's
2021 World Press
Freedom Index

In detail

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State-owned  

The SBC Amendment Act 2017 acts as the premise for ensuring SBC’s commitment to objectivity and political neutrality and changed the way that the independent board of directors were appointed (under the SBC Act 2011, board members were appointed by the President of the Republic of Seychelles).   

Article 168 of the Constitution also guides SBC and makes provisions for it as an independent state-owned broadcaster. For example, Article 168(1) ensures that publicly funded media organisations operate independently of the state and are free from political or other influences. Meanwhile, Article 168 (2) provides facilities for a diversity of views within the public broadcaster. 

However, in its three-year Strategic Plan, SBC acknowledges that the broadcaster “should be represented by its Board (and CEO) during National Assembly summons. This should provide further reassurance to all stakeholders that the National Broadcaster is not under the government’s control.” 

SBC receives funding from the government budget and from advertising revenue.  

In its three-year Strategic Plan, SBC states its financial autonomy: “The SBC’s editorial independence is better safeguarded by a funding policy that does not make it dependent on the politicians of the day for approval of its funding for the coming year. SBC’s funding should ideally be via a medium-term funding mechanism that commits expenditure to the Corporation for four or five years or so, supported by an interim spending review. 

2/3 of its annual budget allocation is spent on staffing costs. Part of its ongoing funding strategy includes monetising its local production content and archives in order to make up for shortfalls in programme funding and reviewing staffing costs. 

According to SBC’s Audience Survey Report 2020, around 94% of respondents watch SBC News consistentlyoften or sometimes and 70% of respondents watch SBC TV (combined SBC1, SBC2, SBC3) for 2 or more hours on average in a day – an increase of 6% from 2019. 

Ahead of the general elections in October 2020, SBC published a press release to reaffirm its commitment to performing its mandate impartially, independently and in the public interest during the election period and beyond”, following criticism related to its election coverage. Looking ahead, its priorities include increasing the quality and quantity of its output – particularly its local content, ensuring that SBC is fit for a digital future, strengthening its governance and improving its financial situation. 


South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)

Radio | Television | Online

77%

audience trust
in SABC News
2020

42%

increase
national news
market share
(2020)

27.9
million

average
network viewers
per month 

In detail

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SABC is a state-owned company – with the government as its sole shareholder – and is guided by corporate government codes. The corporation is governed and controlled by a 15-member (12 non-executive and three executive) board of directors, in accordance with the Broadcasting Act No. 4 of 1999.  

Licence fee payments contribute to around 15% of SABC’s total income alongside commercial revenue.  

SABC enjoys a 73.2% radio market share. According to the broadcaster, all adults (15+ years) spend 3 hours and 36 minutes listening to radio across all its stations, amounting to a 92% (37.5 million) weekly reach and a 73% daily reach (29.9 million) on weekdays. 

SABC’s management team recently concluded its Section 189 (Retrenchment) process. More than 600 employees were retrenched. As of 1 April, the public broadcaster begun implementing its new structure to focus on becoming a ‘fit-for-purpose’ public media organisation and secure its long term sustainability.

Read our latest report: SABC completes retrenchment process and transitions to new structure

Header Image: South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC) Television Park in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. It offers television facilities in Broadcast, Production and Post-production for SABC1, SABC2, SABC3, SABC Encore, SABC Sport, SABC News, SABC Education and all SABC Content in South Africa. Credit: THEGIFT777/iStock